Tokyo - Fishermen working near Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant agreed on Tuesday to allow the release of uncontaminated groundwater around the facility into the ocean, a fisheries union official said, a rare victory for the operator.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima station that suffered triple nuclear meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is trying to contain radioactive water at the site. It has lobbied local fishermen to allow a “groundwater bypass” for nearly two years.
“The final consideration was based on the fact that we cannot allow them to release contaminated water. We realised that if the situation continued as it was, the whole system will fall down,” said Kenji Nakada, an official at the Fukushima fisheries federation.
“In such a case, the fisheries industry in Fukushima would be completely finished.”
Tepco has built a thousand tanks at the Fukushima plant that hold more than 431 000 tons of radioactive water. Nearly 90 percent of available capacity in the tanks are already filled with radioactive water.